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Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week 2023

By Caroline Chandler

Published In: Child Abuse

The 6 – 12 February 2023 marks the 6th annual Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week. This is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of sexual abuse and violence and provide an opportunity for any organisation or individual to engage in dialogue.

sexual abuse awareness 2023 logo

During the week, hundreds of events take place across the country, online and in person, to raise awareness of sexual abuse and violence. The aim is to promote healthy discussions regarding sexual abuse and violence, in order to shine a light on what is normally a topic that isn’t discussed. It allows individuals and organisations to engage in conversation, amplify survivor’s voices and point out all of the incredible resources available to those who have suffered sexual abuse and/ or violence.

How can I get involved?

Join the Switalskis team and thousands of others across the UK as we say #itsnotok. You can join the conversation on social media to show your support throughout the week, as well as attending events in your locality or online. Another way to get involved is by joining the Frontline Focus events series, where speakers will be discussing a range of topics such as:

Male Abuse Survivors

The Impact of Sexual Violence

Survivors as Professionals

You can get your  tickets here .

For information about in-person and online events in your area, please contact your local sexual violence organisations, charities and use the hashtag #itsnotok2023 .

Our campaigns: How we help those who have suffered Sexual Abuse and Violence

As well as representing victims of sexual abuse and violence, the team frequently campaigns and advocates for more schemes and measures to be put in place to give survivors the justice they deserve and to highlight the failures of those who were in a position to help.

Medomsley Detention Centre

In the 1970s and 1980s, a ‘short, sharp, shock’ regime was introduced to try and deter people from committing crime, often by placing them in youth detention centres, for even the smallest crimes.

Medomsley was a detention centre in County Durham, where thousands of boys were abused, both physically and sexually. We help clients make claims under the compensation scheme which was extended in July 2022 and have also been gathering evidence regarding how widespread the regime and the indiscriminate assaults on detainees were, during the 1970s and 1980s. We continuing to seek to persuade the Ministry of Justice to set up a scheme to compensate all victims of this brutal regime, whether at Medomsley or other notable detention centres such as Eastwood Park in Gloucestershire.

We help clients to write to their MPs, asking them to write to the Home Secretary to support the call for a public inquiry into the detention centre. Over 1,650+ claims have been settled, but no apologies have been given by His Majesty’s Government, despite NCA Operation Seabrook  resulting in numerous arrests of staff from the detention Centre.

Bradford Child Sexual Exploitation Scandal

Our experience working on the Rotherham Child Sexual Abuse Scandal, the outcome of the Clare Hyde report and increased concern about the number of women coming forward, we have been campaigning for Bradford Council and the Home Office to launch an independent inquiry into failures by the council and the police to tackle the gangs, who have actively been targeting girls in Bradford for the last 22 years. Our team continue to represent a number of clients in relation to the Bradford child sexual exploitation scandal between the year 2000 to the present day.

Rotherham Child Sexual Abuse Scandal

Together with the NCA (National Crime Agency), we also work with many survivors of the Rotherham child sexual abuse scandal. We have been campaigning for an overhaul to the Police Reform Act’s sections on complaints this comes due to a lack of accountability under the present system, for complaints that arose from the Rotherham scandal.

The current system has delivered zero accountability even after the IOPC’s second largest investigation in its history, Operation Linden. Only two police officers reached panel hearings in relating to the Rotherham scandal reaching, neither of which received anything more than a written warning. Unfortunately, officers often escape accountability by retiring or resigning. We have written to the Home Office with a list of criticisms, asking them to overhaul legislation in this area.

IICSA (Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse) Implementation Alliance

Two of our Directors, David Greenwood  and Amy Clowrey , are part of the IICSA Implementation Alliance. The Alliance are a group of survivors and lawyers who are campaigning for the Home Office to implement the 20 IICSA recommendations in a positive way that will benefit of survivors of child sexual abuse.

Some of these recommendations include the introduction of Child Protection Authorities, who would have enforcement powers to fine, remove or restrict an institution’s contact with children, if it fails to implement its recommendations (similar to Health and Safety Executive’s operation) and the implementation of mandatory reporting.

Our team of compassionate and experienced Solicitors

If you have been a victim of physical and/or sexual abuse, we have a team of experienced child abuse solicitors who are more than happy to speak to you about your case. We understand the sensitive nature of these cases and know that people can find it difficult to talk about, this is why all our solicitors are trained to handle cases with care and discretion.

If you would like more information on making a claim, we have put together a collection of resources , including guides on the types of claims we can help with, how we can help you claim child abuse compensation and questions to ask when looking for a child abuse solicitor. If you would like to speak to one of our solicitors, call 0800 138 4700 or email

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Caroline has worked in the legal sector for 23 years. She is a Solicitor in our Child Abuse Compensation department.

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